49ers QB Colin Kaepernick is getting a lot of flack for refusing to stand up for the National Anthem during a recent pre-season NFL game. Kaepernick, who’s biracial and was adopted by white parents, said he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”
Many of CK’s NFL peers like Victor Cruz, Alex Boone and Drew Brees have spoken out demonizing his actions. Surprisingly to some, however, neither the NFL nor the 49ers will be punishing him. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “Players are encouraged to stand but not required.” Niners coach Chip Kelly said, “We recognize his right to express his feelings.”
Meanwhile, others in Hollywood have began to show their support for Kaepernick. On Tuesday, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar weighed in on the controversy in an op-ed published in The Washington Post.
“What should horrify Americans is not Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the national anthem, but that nearly 50 years after [Muhammad] Ali was banned from boxing for his stance and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s raised fists caused public ostracization and numerous death threats, we still need to call attention to the same racial inequities,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote, referring to prominent protests by black athletes that were once considered controversial but have since become iconic symbols of the U.S. civil rights movement.
Mark Cuban, rapper T.I., Tina Lawson, John Legend, NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown and Terrell Owens also have come to his defense. Hit the flip to see their reactions.
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